Friday 13 September 2013

StudioCanal and The Weinstein Company to Adapt Paddington Bear with Colin Firth

Colin Firth will voice Paddington Bear in TWC/StudioCanal's Paddington.

StudioCanal has acquired the rights to adapt the beloved, classic children's book character, Paddington Bear. The adaptation of Michael Bond's duffle-coated, marmalade-loving bear is called Paddington, and will be a hybrid of CG and live-action.

Oscar-winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech, Love Actually), in a bit of great casting, will be lending his dulcet tones to the eponymous bear. The immigrant bear from Peru arrives in London and is adopted by the Brown family, voiced by Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville and Made in Dagenham's Sally Hawkins. Nicole Kidman is playing "a villainous taxidermist;" Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters are also signed on.

Paddington is being funded, developed and distributing in the UK and other international territories by StudioCanal; Weinstein's new TWC-Dimension label will distribute the film in the States, and filming starts this month. Directing the film is Paul King, a hitherto TV director, who directed The Mighty Boosh and Come Fly with Me; David Heyman (the Harry Potter films, Gravity) is producing.

Paddington meets Mr and Mrs Brown for the first time in the
1975 animated series.

Paddington Bear has been going since 1958, and was previously adapted into a very fine animated series; this is the first live-action film adaptation. Paddington himself will be the sole CG character in the film, apparently, and Firth will provide motion capture for the facial expressions (via BBC News).

Yes, I definitely wish that this were a fully animated (and hand-drawn, for that matter) film (honestly, how many good CG/live-action hybrids can you name?), but with a strong cast and crew like this one, I'm staying cautiously optimistic about England's second best-known bear.

Paddington is currently planned to arrive in UK cinemas on 28th November, 2014, and US ones in the first quarter of 2015.

The story comes via THR; check out the press release at /Film.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! They already ruined Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear, The Smurfs and now this. Just wonderful....